On this month’s episode of the HR Insider, we will be joined by a special guest, employment law attorney, Tina Izadi. The topic is about employment law and how it relates to small businesses. One of the numerous things we discussed in this episode was the recent changes to certain regulations regarding overtime pay. Because this is a looming cloud that is hanging over a lot of business owners, especially small businesses, we wanted to share with you a little of what was discussed before the episode airs.
The United States Department of Labor is considering changing certain language surrounding “defining and delimiting the exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.” Although the department is currently looking into modifying this language; in 2016, state, federal, and local legislatures have passed modified laws in favor of workers.
In case you missed it, here are some information on some of the laws that have been changed or could be changed:
Higher Minimum Wage Rates (States not Federal)
Although the federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour, some states took it upon themselves to raise the wage within their own states themselves. Colorado, Arizona, Maine and Washington were a few states that took matters into their own hands (or the voters) and raised the state level for minimum wage.
Last year, businesses received shocking news that the Department of Labor was going to update a regulation that would increase the salary threshold for paid overtime from $455 per week to $913 per week. In the current language, salaried workers were only able to earn overtime if they made less than a salary of $23,660. The new law was set to go into effect on December 1, 2016 – but after 21 states challenged the proposed change, a federal judge halted the new law from going into effect indefinitely.
While President Obama’s revised overtime regulations will not be happening, many businesses are still wondering if the law will be changed yet again. In July of earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued a Request for Information that seeks to gather comments from the public concerning salaries and wages. You can go here to let your voice be heard: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/rfi2016.htm.
President Trump may revisit the overtime labor law changes as his Secretary of the Labor implied that the administration may change the salary threshold to $34,000 – $36,000 which is $650 to $700 per week.
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